Race With A Smile

I am still in a blue carpet induced euphoria tinged with a violet haze. The past weekend in Chicago was nothing short of a dream come true for me—proof that perseverance, faith and courage are so key to having once in a lifetime experiences.

On Saturday I raced as an elite paratriathlete representing the United States at the ITU World Paratriathlon race in Chicago.

It was a privilege. An honour. An experience I will never forget. It was full of friends old and new. Family. Supporters. Athletes. USA Triathlon and International Triathlon Union officials. Each person, each exchange – warm, welcoming, open and encouraging.

I have to admit, I was scared to put my name forth to be considered for selection for this event. I have been struggling with persistent knee problems caused by Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility. But I decided that in life you might only get ONE CHANCE to reach for a dream.

I dug deep and found the courage to raise my hand, to ask to be included. I put aside my fears of being slow, of not being worthy. My fears of scary bureaucracy, of being judged. I set aside my deepest fear – of not being considered “an athlete” – and I took a leap into the unknown. And out of that leap, I walked away with a dream come true.

For now, in my jetlagged race tired state, I will leave you with just one photo: that of me and the bronze medal I received on Sunday. 

To quote our Team USA paratriathlon manager, you have to be in it to win it.

It may not have been a pretty, but I was in it. I had my race – I raced the best that I could on the day, and with a smile on my face the whole time regardless of how I felt on the inside. I savoured every single moment.

Yes, I have a lot to learn. Yes, there are still ways that I can improve. But none of that analysis is for today.

Today? Today is a celebration of perseverance, faith and courage. And a nod to always racing with a smile.

#paratriathlon #raiseyourhand #teamusa #gratitude #racewithasmile #dreamcometrue #leapoffaith #beatlimits

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